Madikizela will strive towards unity in Western Cape
Cape Town – Despite a scandal surrounding his birthday party, Bonginkosi Madikizela trounced Lennit Max for the top spot in the DA in the Western Cape in what is believed to have been a close race.
Madikizela was elected Western Cape DA leader on Saturday. He acted in this capacity since January, when Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille resigned from the post. He was elected deputy provincial leader in 2015.
After the result was announced, Madikizela’s supporters carried him to the stage, which they then swamped, while some of Max’s supporters left the Every Nation Church in Goodwood, Cape Town, where the congress was held.
This was Max’s fourth unsuccessful bid for the party’s provincial leadership.
The new leadership
Anton Bredell retained his position as the influential provincial chairperson, while Albert Fritz has been elected as deputy provincial leader. Bredell was up against Anroux Marais, Western Cape MEC for sport and culture, and Fritz against Western Cape MPL Mazisole Mnqasela.
DA MP Andricus van der Westhuizen maintained his position as provincial chairperson of finance, beating Dion George and James Hamilton.
When Cape Town mayoral committee member JP Smith’s name was announced as one of the three provincial deputy chairperson, there was a cheer, but also some boo’s.
Some boo's as JP Smith is announced as one of 3 DA deputy provincial chairpersons. Shaun August and Antoinette Steyn the other 2 @News24— Jan Gerber (@gerbjan) October 7, 2017
Smith couldn’t attend the congress, as he and De Lille were put on “special leave” from DA functions due to a spat around De Lille’s disbandment of the city’s Special Investigations Unit.
The two other deputy chairperson’s is Shaun August and Antoinette Steyn. Steyn is the only female serving on the elected provincial executive structure.
The four additional members of the provincial executive are DA MP James Vos, Peter Helfrich, Conrad Poole and Tertius Simmers.
In a short speech after the results, Madikizela said the “fierce campaigning and contestation” is a clear indication that “democracy is well in the DA”.
Calling for unity
He called for unity going forward in the party’s mission of garnering 1.6 million votes in the Western Cape in the 2019 election to remove “the corrupt ANC” from office.
Madikizela also said the party must ensure that it doesn’t leave voters with the impression that the party is taking them for granted. He added that the party must rebuild trust with farmworkers in the province.
Speaking to journalists after the official proceeding, Madikizela said becoming the Western Cape’s premier isn’t a goal for him and he will ensure that he works with those that opposed him.
“We need to make them feel part of the team. Vindictiveness is not in my DNA,” he said.
Madikizela has been embroiled in a scandal about a provincial contractor paying for his birthday cake. Max was the chairperson of the Western Cape legislature's conduct committee investigating Madikizela, but resigned from that position.